18 May 2016

Rants of a First-Time Voter


With the election results coming out tomorrow and "election-journalism" making a mad dash to the front page of  newspapers every morning, I cannot help but ask myself questions and I have several of them. Living in a country that boasts of harbouring a major bulk of the world's youth, I have a fair idea about the number of 'first time voters'  each election season. So is the story this year - a major part of young India exercising their election right for the first time in their lives. Standing on the same threshold, I wonder how many 18 year olds can actually decipher the worth of their "Voter Identity card". How many have an actual idea about how the government functions (because it is far more complex than their staple civics syllabus)? What intrigues me the most is  the question, "How do I make the right choice?" 

Picture credits :- Telegraph.co.uk

There are various answers given when a youngster is asked to explain his choice, the most common one being "because my family votes for them".  This astounds me, and I can't play the blaming card either. Belonging to the same generation and when faced with the same question, my answer is no more legitimate for my school does not prepare me for "legitimate use of election right" and the better part of my judgement is crowded by the current political status quo. Most of our schools encourage us to shy away from the politics of these days, branding it as an evil to the gentry. In our modern society, politics is a game that "good, obedient children" don't participate in and more often than not, the bulk of the intellectual crowd in a batch are politically unaware. The irony is, the more I try to comprehend the situation and pour some sense into it, the more I am confused for half of the promises made by the politicians are hollow promises which aim at winning public affections to their credit. Whether they are kept or not, that's a different tale altogether.

Anonymous source
 Is it not high time that we endeavour to get a satisfactory insight into the political scenario so that we can choose wisely? Or, are we to depend on petty slogans through "howlings" (backed by certain media houses, e.g :- NDTV for Congress, Times Now for BJP) so high that microphones are rendered useless? Or, do we vote for a candidate analysing how much money he has drained into his electoral promotion? So, what's 'Young India' for? We find ourselves bewildered and drawn into the mayhem with every question. Not to make things worse, I am refraining myself from indulging into the luxury of bringing into the picture, the complex whirlpool of corruption that churns Indian politics at large. As a first time voter, the least I can ask for is a  rational projection of the agenda that a political party wishes to undertake in its true and un-distorted form. And here I can conclude by saying that wasting my first vote for the reasons stated above would be shameful indeed for I would definitely want to rest on the thought that my choice wasn't on trivial, futile grounds. My voting right is my conscious decision, not a family legacy. And my political awareness is anything but a bane to the society.

-Article by Rinita Das.

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